Expanded VST Support on Linux

After spending some time messing around with everything in Renoise on Linux that’s native (DSP, sampling capabilities, all that jazz), I’ve started to expand out to the use of plugins. In going through the forums, I see a lot of people rallying for LV2 support, which would be neat, but it seems like there’s a few technical hurdles to overcome first.

There are a few native Linux VSTs out there, but they’re very much hit or miss . I’ve encountered a few different glitches when trying to load them up. To work around this, I’ve been using a third-party package (dssi-vst) that loads up the Windows version of the plugin as a separate application and pipes the audio through Jack.

Which got me thinking… is there a way to implement dssi-vst as a native device within Renoise for Linux? To have something like “Windows VST” listed as an available DSSI/LADSPA plugin out-of-the-box? I know this would likely require rolling WINE libraries or dssi-vst into the application - would that be prohibited by the GPL?

Which native vsts glitch for you? I found the linux vst support in renoise very good, at least for the free/open plugins I’ve tried so far, plugins that glitched in renoise did so in other hosts, too, so I doubt it be errors on the renoise side of the game.

For trying out windows vsts I use “airwave”, I think it should be more feature complete and performant than the very old dssi-vst? Many windows vsts will glitch or freeze wine for me, though. To run windows software, even vsts, you need to qasi-simulate a whole windows system, this is what wine tries to. For linux people it is no secret, that not every software will work, some will glitch, some will perform very bad, some will crash/freeze wine, and some just won’t run at all. Same for vsts for me. Well, I have to say…plugins that glitch/freeze via airwave will also do so with the same symptoms if I try to load them for example in reaper running via wine.

I doubt any small to medium software project would even think about using wine “officially supported”. GPL prevents use as integral part of closed source programs, btw. Wine is a seriously big and whacky project. Bitwig also doesn’t officially support loading via wine I think?

I find the Linux VST game slowly changing, though, with for the most point Bitwig and a bit of Renoise supporting native VST plugins from the commercial side, and Ardour as biggest open source thing also supporting it. I see a a constant raise in the number of commercial and freeware plugins available for linux.

LV2 sounds like some cool stuff, but also like a moving target. The diaspora is there because…for commercial developers LV2 is a strange moving target in constant change and development, offers no commercial plugins and would rely on implementing lots of stuff yourself (aka do groundwork) so as to support the most plugins but also not violate opensource licenses, while the opensource scene will prefer lv2 over vst, simply because the official vst headers have a fucked up non-opensource-friendly license.

So far, I’ve had problems with Mr. Alias 2 (it’s an older plugin, which may be contributing to the issues I’m having with it) and the VST version of Glitch2 (how appropriate), but I managed to fix the issues I was having with the latter. I’m still slowly testing things out, so I’ll have to see what, if anything, pitches a fit.

I’ve had pretty solid success with dssi-vst, but wasn’t aware that it was all that old. Airwave looks interesting, and I’ll have to give it a whirl. I know that the GPL can make things a bit difficult for commercial products, but I wasn’t sure if this would be a feasible implementation. When I did the workaround with Mr. Alias, it got me thinking about this archive of oddball Windows VSTs i have from back in the days of Fruity Loops (pre-FL Studio) and I was thinking it would be wild to be able to implement them inside of Renoise without a third-party software package.

Haven’t done much with LV2 quite yet - I’m a huge Linux fan, but getting deeper into audio production is something I haven’t really done because I didn’t like most of what was available for DAWs. But once I found Renoise, I got very very interested. And when I saw that there were any native Linux VSTs at all… well, I’m going to have to do some more exploring.

I have to say I’ve not had any problem with linux vsts. Glitch2 seems to work for me but I am only trying the demo out at the moment. Mr Alias 2 does ring a bell, I think I may have tried that ages ago and had crashes from it in various host and so in to the trash it went for me (if it’s the one I’m thinking of). Is it even developed any more? Looks like the last linux version (and first) was from 2011. I also use Airwave and don’t have a lot of problems with it.

I think any kind of airwave/dssi-vst implementation directly built in to renoise (beside never going to happen) wouldn’t be a good idea, it would be a nightmare for bugs and support and a real quagmire with regards to what the expectations of renoise would be. There are quite a lot of native linux vsts around, check kxstudio’s repos, the guy in charge of has vsts versions of most LV2 stuff there, then there is LinuxDSP/OvertoneDSP, Loomer, and probably other I’m forgetting. We even have a vst version of zynaddsubfx now as well (if you use a certain git branch of it right now), it’s early in porting over but it will be fantastic when it is done.

Agree. I have also the feeling that Linux VSTi is gaining “market share” faster than LV2.

The only thing I miss from the LV2 world at the moment is the Calf suite (I mean natively. I know about the unofficial KX Studio port, or one can also use http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Applications:Carla).

As for Windows VST loading, I’d rather leave this out of Renoise as well.